By: Hayden Wright
Two French festivals have dropped Eagles of Death Metal from their bills after frontman Jesse Hughes made inflammatory remarks about Islam being responsible for last year’s terror attack during a concert by the band at The Bataclan, in which 90 people were killed.
“It’s okay to be discerning when it comes to Muslims in this day and age,” he told Taki magazine, adding that Muslims in France “[celebrated] in the streets during the attack.”
In response, organizers of two French festivals said Hughes’ remarks were irresponsible and further fanned the flames of hate.
“Being in total disagreement with Jesse Hughes’ recent allegations given in an [interview] with an american media, both Cabaret Vert & Rock en Seine festivals have decided to cancel the band’s performance. We [thank] you for your understanding,” organizers elaborated in a Facebook post.
A Bataclan survivor also penned an essay for Louder Than War expressing dismay over Hughes’ statements. Tony Scott, an Eagles of Death Metal fan, wrote that the sentiments were “a stomach punch to fans.”
“It’s easy to see why his comments are causing so much hurt,” he wrote. “Unlike a politician, his fans have invested time and emotion into a band whose music they buy and gigs they attend. There is a rapport between a band and its fans, some of which are dedicated followers. They already feel like they know him. This rapport is strengthened still as Hughes is a fellow survivor and the compassion extended in the community of survivors is also extended to him. Comments in the media like his are a stomach punch to those fans, especially when they are still dealing with their own trauma. He is alienating the very people who helped him get where he is.”